Thinking Anglicans

opinion at the end of June

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that To be alive is to be more than physical.

Mark Vernon writes for Cif belief that If you want big society, you need big religion.
Faith communities may encourage their members to contribute to society – but can politicians harness their benefits?

Also for Cif belief Nick Spencer writes for that Trevor Phillips is muddled on faith and equality.
The EHRC cannot have it both ways – faith communities are either right or wrong to adhere to their beliefs.

Greg Carey writes for The Huffington Post about What The Bible Really Says About Slavery.

In his Sacred mysteries column in the Telegraph Christopher Howse discovers how Westminster Abbey had a narrow escape: When they put a shell on the Abbey.

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Murdoch
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Murdoch

Giles Fraser disputes the view that human beings are merely “medium-sized portions of animated meat.” But it’s Genesis that presents mankind as statues animated by divine breath. Science describes us as organisms, and consciousness as an effect of brain activity. Fraser protests that “Human beings are so much more than their physicality.” Yes, they know themselves through language and the stories that language lets them tell: Flying carpets, ghosts that walk, historical sagas — anything imaginable can happen in a story. Stories give us a sense of wonder perhaps denied to bears, but they all seem to issue from chemical-electric… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Good article by Greg Carey, on the issue of slavery in the bible. From among the genuine or non-disputed letters of St. Paul, Philemon gets a special mention, and rightly so. Philemon is a case study in how we might move away from disputes about what the bible does or does not “command” and toward an ethic based on transcendent values. Although its is perhaps more intuitive glean than proof text, I think the letter to Philemon assumes the institution of slavery as a given but heralds the value of compassion. The former,an economic and social assumption of the ancient… Read more »

David Shepherd
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For all Giles Fraser’s protestations to the contrary, God declares and life itself shows that we are also very much physical beings, divinely ordered dust. However ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ we are, the Genesis account states: ‘By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’ I agree, in part, that the separation of orientation from practice is a false dichotomy. If you accept orientation as valid and God-given, you must accept practice. Yet is the statement… Read more »

A J Barford
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A J Barford

David Shepherd asks: “Yet is the statement ‘affirm that homosexual orientation in itself is no bar to a faithful Christian life or to full participation in lay and ordained ministry in the Church and acknowledge the importance of lesbian and gay members of the Church of England participating in the listening process as full members of the Church.’ the same as affirming the moral equivalence of homosexual and heterosexual conduct?”

It is.

Father Ron Smith
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“If everyone has a sexual orientation, each of us still needs to discover how divine insight (as revealed through scripture) challenges our expression of that orientation in conduct and personal relationships.” – David Shepherd – This statement sounds prety-well right to me. However; it would be very difficult to maintain the false dichotomy that orientation does not necessarily entail activity in connection with that orientation. To say that one’s sexual orientation should not – in certain circumstances (such as the LGBT variation) – allow of the allied benefit of physical expression; would be to suggest that the innate sexuality of… Read more »

David Shepherd
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@ A J Barford: Apparently, those who issued the statement that I quoted think differently. Otherwise, there would be no need for the House of Bishops to announce the review last week. @Father Ron Smith: The choice between gay or straight orientation is also a false dichotomy. In the scripture, there is no assumption of sexual orientation towards either gender on the part of those described as eunuchs. It would be presumptious to press these verses into the service of any orientation. There was no need for Christ to address the disposition of eunuchs to engage in sexual activity. The… Read more »